Amazon Invests in Electric Vehicle Manufacturer Rivian

One of the coolest events that I was invited to attend last year was the unveiling of the new electric pick-up truck from Rivian. The vehicle was built from the ground up for use in the outdoors, offering exceptional range and performance, in an environmentally friendly package.

Later, the company would also unveil a matching SUV, which offered the same 400 mile (643 km) battery pack, impressive 0 to 60 performance, and outstanding build quality. Both vehicles would be hailed as potential Tesla-killers and Rivian would even go on to announce Alex Honnold as one of its brand ambassadors.

Last week, Rivian was in the headlines once again as it was revealed that the company had picked up $700 million in investment money. That will play an important role in bringing the R1T truck and S1T SUV to market in 2020, which is when the vehicles are expected to go on sale. As impressive as that dollar amount is however, the story was as much about who invested in Rivian as it was revealed that Amazon bought a stake in the company.

The big investor from this round of fund raising was online retail giant Amazon, although just how much cash the company sent Rivian’s way hasn’t been revealed. An Amazon spokesperson indicated that there was nothing more to add to Rivian’s announcement at this time, although Amazon CEO of Worldwide Consumer Jeff Wilke is quoted as saying, “We’re inspired by Rivian’s vision of the future of electric transportation.”

Apparently Amazon isn’t the only heavy hitter interested in investing in the electric vehicle start-up. Rumors have also circulated that General Motors is considering a buy in as well. The technology behind the R1T and S1T is impressive and at least on par with other electric vehicles coming to market soon. An investment by GM could provide access to that technology for use in its own cars and trucks.

Built with the outdoor adventurer in mind, the two Rivian vehicles should offer excellent offload capabilities, while providing plenty of comfort inside. Both the R1T and S1T are packed with very nice details as well, with distinctive lighting systems, powerful motors, and energy efficient battery packs.

They’ll come with a hefty price tag –– at least at first –– as well, with the pick-up truck starting at about $100,000. As production ramps up however, a slightly scaled back version is expected to offered in the $60,000 range.

You can find out more about Rivian and its electric vehicles on the company’s website. Needless to say, it will quickly become evident why investors and consumers are excited to see more.

Kraig Becker